Saturday, October 24, 2009

How Do You Approach the Mountains?

I don't even know how to approach the mountains, these mountains I love so well. I think you approach them by acknowledging that "they are not mine." By acknowledging that they are not yours, you create an opening for welcome. Then you may realize you are or could be its, but it is not yours.

If your ancestors had been buried in these hills for six generations or more, then you could say the mountains were yours because those kinsmen would have joined with the hills and be one. Through them, not only would you be its but it would also be yours as well.

But when we are a settler culture and the sons and daughters of colonialists, the first respect we must pay is knowing we are newcome guests, who have the opportunity (but not certainty) to grow into odal relation to the land -- long generations if they will -- but now the land is its, its own, theirs even, and they linger, with we in the outside court, some of us looking in with wonder, and some -- perhaps -- longing. That is how I think you approach the mountains. With respect.


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